A book containing Bonaly's story

 Figure skating ‘European champion’ Adang Xiaoyingpa (22, France) performed the banned technique ‘backflip’ at the 2024 International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Skating European Championships, despite receiving a large deduction in points. won the championship .Xiaoyingpa received a total score of 182.04 points in the men’s single free skating competition held in Kaunas, Lithuania on the 13th (Korean time), adding 97.03 technical score (TES) points, 88.01 artistic score (PCS) points, and 3 deduction points .He won with a final total score of 276.17 points, including the short program score of 94.13 points, comfortably beating Aleksandr Celebko (256.99 points, Estonia).Xiaoyingpa won the European Championships for two consecutive years following last year. On this day, Xiaoyingpa’s backflip attempt attracted more attention than the result .Xiao Yingfa performed a backflip, turning backwards in the air and landing.

He successfully performed the technique cleanly, and the audience cheered. Xiaoyingpa was deducted 2 points for this technique alone, but it did not significantly affect her victory. Backflips are prohibited for safety reasons. The ISU banned this technique a long time ago due to concerns about injuries, and points are deducted even if successful .However, backflips have more meaning than just being a ‘banned technique’ .Some figure skaters consider it a ‘symbol of resistance’ .The story goes back 30 years. Shirya Bonaly (50), a French female singles player of African descent, was unable to reach the top of international competitions even though she demonstrated overwhelmingly difficult techniques such as quadruple jumps in the 1990s.

In every competition he participated in, he was always defeated by white or Asian players. Bonaly believed that the color of his skin kept him from reaching the top positions in the world .He claimed that he had been discriminated against throughout his career because he was black, and retired after performing a proud backflip in the women’s single free skating at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. At the time, many media outlets described Bonaly’s backflip as a struggle against racism. Xiao Yingfa, who performed the backflip that day, is a Chinese-French athlete. He did not attach any serious significance to the backflip technique. In an interview with the ISU after the competition, he said, “I knew that I would get points deducted for doing a backflip, but I wanted to use that technique to advance the figure skating world. In fact, the backflip is a technique that is not as dangerous as you think.” “I also wanted to perform for the audience,” he said. “Isn’t it like the French style 슬롯게이밍 (pursuing freedom)?”

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